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tv   [untitled]    February 3, 2011 4:30am-5:00am PST

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cooperation because there are still key issues when it comes to who is going to pay for it. commissioner mar: again, thank you very much for the report. it is very informational. i had some questions. the amount of money you mentioned that the department has for community-based organizations to help tenants to comply if they have a problem -- it seems like a very small amount of money, and i know we are under budget constraints, but how fast is the, those funds exhausted? do you have an idea? are those funds being used? do people know about it? is it getting exhausted very fast in terms of year? that is $63,000 a year, i assume. >> i do not really manage the fund, but we have -- anyway.
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the funds are available to use. it is managed by and the community-based organizations. they provide our reach. they actually do know some of the people that need help, and i think what i'll probably instruct my inspectors later on is that when they find cases to aps, if they know that is not a client that will be able to comply, that may need help, that they refer them to a community- based organization who does this. we have the central city collaborative, and those who have permission. i think that is an improvement. >> it is hard to know whether it is sufficient or insufficient if we do not know how it is being
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used. my second question is -- commissioner walker: maybe we get here from the sro collaborative at some point. commissioner mar: my second question is for the regulations you have passing out to the tenants. are those in multiple languages? >> yes, they are. commissioner mar: ok, thank you. commissioner hechanova: thank you for your presentation. it was very insightful. it seems like infestation is indiscriminate because it is both public and private sectors of the hotel industry and even on to private homes. >> yes. commissioner mar: it seems to me that compliance might be always vulnerable based on whether they received notification of violation on the public category of the hotel room, that it only
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serves as an action item, meaning that they need to resolve that category of compliance. but it also makes the compliants boulder will based on the infestation. they might be able to resolve the issue, and within another three days or four weeks after they've met the condition of compliance, there is another infestation. there seems to be this ongoing cycle. is there a way to have some category of measuring or metric of effectiveness? and is it issues of behavioral modification on the tenants, or it seems as if the physical building can stay the same, but the infestation becomes more of
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a health issue, that is brought in on the re-infestation front. >> that is true. it is a combination of all that was mentioned, but the challenge is it's the treatment is not effective at the onset, meaning the room is not well prepared, there are gaps in terms of what they were supposed to do that it did not do, they can play dormant for a very long time, and the eggs in the crevices, of course, it will be infected. bedbugs are not discriminant. you may say in a five-star hotel. if i'm living in a place with bedbugs, they can hitchhike in my suitcase, and when i'm undressing or removing -- and seeing my belongings, something
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might walk out of my suitcase, so it is a very huge challenge. that is why bedbugs are one of the most difficult tests of this modern age, to eradicate bugs. if you do a very good job, followed the protocol, you can eliminate bedbugs. >> to totally eliminate sounds a real lofty goal because it has been around for centuries. >> yes, but i can tell you that for tenants that live in these buildings, they want to completely eradicate it. they do not want to hear that you are controlling it. they want you to take care of it. that is why we need to be patient with the operators, and we asked them to cooperate, and we need tenants to cooperate with building operators, and most importantly, the press control operators need to work closely with the tenants and
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building managers to make sure that they provide very effective services. i hate to tell you this, but if -- we need to spend more time with the pest control system. i do not want to say any more publicly. commissioner walker: i really would love to hear from our housing division of our how we interface as well as maybe wellsro -- maybe the sro collaborative briefly. do we require inspections separate from the provider of the eradication, or are they the same person? is the person who comes in to inspect for bedbugs the same person who gets rid of them? or is it separate? >> our inspectors would inspect and go in and find the problem, but the pest control company is the one that provides the services on a monthly basis. >> but if the health inspector
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or somebody is suspicious that there is bedbugs, do we call in the press control person to verify? >> no, that is the responsibility of the property owner. >> but we require that? i'm trying to figure out enforcement and -- >> i see. we instruct the building owner who has the ultimate responsibility to employ the services of a license pest control operators. commissioner walker: ok, and maybe we can hear from -- >> i have a question. i guess the question that i have this what are the classifications here? >> dph inspectors. >> i know that, like, barbara
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garcia is not doing it, but there are other city employees -- >> i am referring to environmental health staff. those that are licensed by the states that have the authority to inspect licensed facilities within each county. >> do they have to have certifications to do this? >> yes, they do. >> whenever you refer to the protective services agency, are the the state investigators the ones that have the ability to go into people's homes? aps goes into folks' homes. do you know who does that? investigators? >> [unintelligible] >> do you know if there is state investigators that do that? they are the ones that i actually stand that ago -- >> i think the social workers
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are licensed to do that. commissioner murphy: thank you. i have a couple more questions. this report is dated 2006, and there is an update in 2008. do you have anything more recent? >> no, the update that i normally have, which you do not have a copy of it -- whenever i have an update, it is written in red. the last one i have is 2008. >> i remember a couple of months ago, the board of supervisors passed an ordinance on this a bedbug issue. i think avalos was the one who proposed it. have we done any studies on how many buildings are affected in the city.
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>> we need the overhead. thank you. >> this is the whole city complaints that we have received. in 2008, you can see that the number jumped a little higher. in 2009, we have 576. commissioner murphy: statistics are showing us that it is getting worse. >> these are actual complaints of violations. the problem is getting worse. in 2010, we had a total of
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about 431, and i was attributing this to the fact that the population are getting more educated, and therefore, people know now what bedbugs are when they are bitten. we are responding to the complaints. commissioner murphy: right now, it is the health department and forcing? >> yes, we are -- commissioner murphy: what about the department of the environment? are they involved? >> they are not involved, as far as i know, with regulating bedbugs in any licensed facilities. we do not have the capacity or demand power. >> they are involved with dust and lead. for me, i have a problem with the enforcement and.
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-- enforcement end. i do not think we are properly trained or educated to do inspections on bedbugs. that is just my opinion. i have some more questions, but i would like to hear public comment. i do not know if i'm trying to reinvent the wheel here. maybe we need to get more money to enforce. >> thank you, commissioner. >> thank you, doctor. commissioner walker: can we hear from the to the housing initiative about our efforts and the sro collaborative briefly? just to point out that they have -- how many inspectors do you have? two.
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as is often the case, we are the eyes out in the world with our programs and our employees, so thank you. commissioner murphy: commissioner walter, we will have questions for staff. >> thank you, chief housing inspector. the issue of bedbugs has been in the san francisco housing code for the last 30 years. it appears in chapter 10, which is a regurgitation of state law, which defines what a substandard building is, and it is also chapter 13 of the housing code. it is referred to as insect infection, vermin, and bedbugs. all that has been in that code for many years, probably since it separated from the health code back in the early 1960's, and when the division was separated in the early 1970's or actually even before that -- commissioner murphy: can i ask a question? >> dealing with that issue
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prior. commissioner murphy: when was that code? >> the housing code became a standalone code in 1963. that is when the current san francisco housing code came to be, approximately the time. the language having to do with bedbugs or insect infestation was in that code, and as you have heard, and i want to thank the doctor for being here today and giving an excellent presentation on things we have been jointly dealing with for quite a while -- the issue that comes to our division is with two health inspectors available to deal with this, we get a lot of complaints, and the complaints are increasing, and department policy is that right now and forever, if a complaint came in, and it was just exclusively bedbugs, that is referred to the health
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department. that is through the policy of the director. and the other inspectors the deal with it in other types of buildings, not just hotels. apartment buildings, single- family dwellings. we know they can appear everywhere. it the complaint comes in to housing and the department of building inspection, and if it is a case with multiple violations, we will look at it with the rest of the violations. specifically if we are called to do a joint task force by the city attorney or we do a room to room inspection of a residential hotel, we will be looking at bedbugs. if we see them, we will be issuing a notice of violation for the property owner to comply with the rules and regulations, which is the document that you got and president murphy was referring to that was amended in 2008. but we get a lot of calls from
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tenants and occupants in the community grew because of the staffing levels and limited resources that the health department has. we work with them on most all of the room to room inspections we have before we even schedule that of women, or when we schedule that, we work with in issues of complaints, say, residential hotels, we get the environmental health inspectors involved in most of those cases. even though it is a violation of the housing code, the property owners fail to comply with that portion of the it. they still have to comply with the rules, regulations, and protocol set forward by the environmental health inspector. that is why we are joint. we have overlapping
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jurisdiction. where we can help, we do health. when it is exclusively a bedbugs, we defer to them. that is what 311 has been instructed to do. commissioner walker: maybe we can bring up somebody from the sor collaborative to talk about this. they do a lot of the out reach. to president murphy's question about training, maybe we can identify need in that area. >> we always are wanting more training. the other thing i would like to show -- i do have numbers of the complaints we have received since 2005 under bedbugs. when i show you this number of complaints, some of these were referred to the health department. when you look at the actual number, both of these things are added together.
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the numbers are small. i apologize. in 2005, 148 complaints came in. we issued 30 notices of violation. in 2010, 293 and we issue 91 notices of violation. president murphy: commissioner hechanova. commissioner hechanova: thank you for the update. in the category where infestation -- bedbugs do not really affect the structural integrity of buildings or any category the housing inspectors will be evaluating. only through their observance, and infestation is taking place on furniture or the category of what furniture there is that is invested, but not as a dbi or
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building category. it's not affecting structural integrity -- much like termites would. >> it is my understanding that they do not affect the structural integrity. the housing code deals with structural issues, maintenance and property, and sanitation and health and safety. bedbug infestation is a violation and it creates a substandard building under state law, but it is also a public nuisance. both coaches feel it is significant. in the 20 some years i've been doing code enforcement, i've never seen a quality of life i issue so severe as being inundated with bed bugs. i've had occupants of buildings
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that have had bedbugs crying on the phone because they were completely eaten up by bedbugs. for the people living in these units, it's a very serious issue. it is tragic. to mr. walker>> thank you. thank you. >> good morning. >> are we at public comment? >> no, as part of the presentation from the clever tip clever ticollaboratives. >> we see about 300 dropped ins per month and bedbugs are consistently an issue. bedbugs are one of the top concerns for our tenants.
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through our work around issues of bed bugs, three common themes have arisen. first, there's a problem with the enforcement of bedbug protocol. dph's lack of strong enforcement has led to a lack of the enforcement. many tenants report that the ir managers are not using licensed pest controls for the rooms adjacent to them are not being checked. dbi is in better position to enforce the protocol. dbi has a mechanism in place and more inspectors, which has made them more effective. the second issue is that although the director's protocol on bedbugs establishes a baseline requirements, it fails to require a ceiling to limit manager's actions. a number of agencies have forced language aimed at
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stripping tenants of their rights. we've seen clauses that allow a manager to enter a tenant's room without notice, or to throw away items that they deem untreatable. tenants who do not know their rights are forced to sign these contracts. many have committed to me they've gone to great measures to hide bedbug infestation. for people on an extremely limited budget, this can be a burden. even in situations where the tenant and manager want to attend good faith and follow protocol, the lack of services available to the elderly, physical, or mentally disabled -- some even face eviction because they do not have the physical capacity to prepare their rooms.
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there's a question about funding. we have received $20,000 in funding. it is restricted to use in private hotels and apartments in our area. we use it for laundry services. last year we used about half of the funds. we simply do not have the capacity in our organization to do things like helping with laundry and things like that. we're using is solely for laundry services. to work on these issues, the sor collaborative held a working group. we created a presentation. any hotel is welcome to request a presentation. in addition, we are holding a meeting next tuesday, january 25 for sticklers working with tenants with bedbug issues. the goal is to begin crafting policy recommendations that we
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can bring back to the city. we invite all stakeholders present to join us. we hope that we can work to solve this problem together. thank you, commissioner walker, for providing us this opportunity. commissioner walker: you get $20,000 from the dph funding? >> city funding, yes. commissioner walker: that is interesting. is that all that is used out of that funding? it's all of the $63,000 used every year? >> each of the city sor collaboratives get a portion of that money. correct me if i'm wrong. it is up to them to use at their discretion. to mr. walker it is all allocated. yes. president murphy: questions,
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commissioners? thank you very much. i would like to acknowledge the presence of our new supervisor. welcome. if you would like to say a few words, we would appreciate it. commissioner walker: we did not go into public comment yet. president murphy: i just want to welcome you. >> thank you so much for hearing this item. i appreciate commissioner walker. this is a very large issue in san francisco and especially in the district i represent. commissioner walker has been a longtime advocate and community leader in these issues. and my predecessor, a supervisor daily. i will also be holding a hearing on bed bugs. i look forward to hearing the
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findings of the building inspection commission. we will take that under consideration we want to look at an overview of the current statistics and what treatment methods have demonstrated promising results, and also what you do that has been successful in decreasing bed bug infestation in district 6. we also want to go into a deeper explanation of how the department of public health and dbi are working together to address enforcement of landlords who ignore bedbugs problems and also improve guidelines as to what constitutes an infestation. one of the reasons our office is taking this on is because so many community advocates have taken on this issue and done a ton of work in research and
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advocacy as to what we can do as the city to better improve this issue. i just want to recognize the work that has gone to this. thank you to our community advocates so much for that work. thank you very much. president murphy: thank you. ready for public comment now. each will be allowed three minutes. commissioner walker: i think there are going to be public comments. >> just a moment. can we have a show of hands as to how many people are here to speak on this issue? commissioner walker: not that many. president murphy has just announceasked me to announce the
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will have two minutes for public comment. we have a lot of people here to speak. >> good morning. my name is thomas. in an sor tenant who is undergoing bedbugs. let me talk about my experience. i moved into the boy's hotel about three years ago. prior to that, they redid the floor in my room. unfortunately, they did not calk around the edges of my room. the tenant next mto me is a quarter. he is not getting any case management for his illness. my girlfriend tells me i'm a compulsive person regarding
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cleanliness. it is probably true. i am probably overly compulsive record in settling this freak if the tenant next door to you is a quartehoarder and he or she doet happen --, vii when treatment -e my room is undergoing treatment, their position was that they would not give it back until there were three treatments. soffifth the way i got my bedbug


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